Gas Home Safety Tips

Gas Piping Safety

  • Keep the meter clear of obstructions that would prevent first responders from reaching it during an emergency.
  • Never hang items such as clothes, towels or blankets on gas piping. This can damage piping and potentially cause a gas leak.
  • Don't place mulch, topsoil, or rocks in contact with your meter. Contact with such materials can cause your meter to corrode and leak.

Winter Weather Complications

  • Chimneys and vents for gas appliances must be cleared following a major snow or ice storm to enable proper venting and prevent carbon monoxide accumulation.
  • Make sure that snow does not block exhaust from a sidewall vent. Sidewall vents are common in recent heating and water heating systems, especially with high efficiency models. Vents act as breathing devices for these systems—they take in fresh air, mix it with fuel to produce heat, and discharge exhaust fumes that contain harmful carbon monoxide. If a vent becomes blocked with snow or vegetation, it could shut down heating equipment or draw in exhaust fumes containing carbon monoxide.
  • Accumulation of ice or snow can interfere with the proper operation of your gas metering system. The meter assembly may contain a regulator that is designed to safely release pressurized gas in the event of a malfunction. Blocking the regulator vent could create an unsafe condition where gas is not able to escape from internal piping.
  • Snow and ice can damage gas meters and piping. Be careful when removing snow from around the gas meter; any damage to the gas meter could potentially create a possible leak hazard.
  • Use a broom to keep the gas meter, pressure regulator, and vent piping clear of snow and ice during the winter season.
  • Chimneys and vents should be protected using an approved cap or screen to keep small animals or insects from entering. These pests have been known to build nests inside chimneys or vents and can cause potentially hazardous conditions.
  • Steer clear of gas meters and associated piping when using snow blowers. Always start your snow blower outside to avoid potential carbon monoxide and fire hazards.
  • If you smell a gas odor outside, please call 1-800-880-7734(PSEG) from a neighbor's home and remain outside until PSE&G arrives.

Outdoor Gas Grill

  • Read and follow the manufacturer’s safety guidelines before operating a gas grill.
  • When the grilling season begins, inspect your gas grill prior to using it. Make sure all the fittings are tight, drip pans are clean, and there are no insect nests in the burners.
  • Check connections by rubbing soapy water over them. If you see any bubbling, tighten the fittings.
  • When lighting the grill, make sure the burner controls are not set to maximum levels. Never try to light the grill with the lid closed.
  • Keep your face and hair away from the grill when lighting burners.
  • If the grill fails to light, keep the lid open for at least five minutes to allow residual gas to disperse before attempting to relight.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher nearby in case of fire.
  • Make sure children are kept a safe distance away from the grill.
  • Be sure to operate the grill at a safe distance away from the home and any other combustible materials. The high amount of heat generated has the potential for melting vinyl siding.
  • Clean grill surfaces before you start cooking.
  • Turn the valves off when you’re finished cooking.
  • If your grill is not working properly, arrangements can be made to schedule a repair service for a fee by contacting PSE&G WorryFree or your local plumber. Learn more about PSE&G's WorryFree program here.
  • If you smell a gas odor outside, please call 1-800-880-7734(PSEG) from a neighbor's home and remain outside until PSE&G arrives.

Flammable Liquid Storage

  • Never place flammable products such as paper, fabric, gasoline, or paint thinner anywhere near appliances. Flammable vapors from these types of products are easily ignited and can cause severe burns that are life threatening. Vapors cannot be seen, may be heavier than air and have the ability to travel a long way across the floor in seconds.
  • All flammable liquids should be used according to manufacturers’ instructions provided on their containers. Flammable liquids like gasoline should never be used indoors.
  • Keep gasoline ONLY in an approved gasoline container. Never fill gasoline containers to the top. Allow room for vapor expansion. Make sure the container is tightly sealed. Never store gasoline in unapproved containers like plastic milk jugs or glass containers.
  • Keep gasoline and other flammable liquids away from children.

Fire Emergency Preparation

  • Keep emergency numbers for police and fire departments near your house phone, and program them into your cell phone.
  • Ensure that children know how to make a call to 911, and under what circumstances they should do so.
  • Make sure that at least one smoke detector is placed on every floor of your home. Install detectors on the ceiling away from air vents and near bedrooms. Test your detectors every few months to ensure they're working. Change the batteries when you change the clocks in spring and fall.
  • Develop an emergency exit plan for your home in case of a fire. Practice the plan to make sure everyone can escape quickly and safely.
  • Keep your chimney and vent piping clean. Have them inspected regularly and cleaned by a professional when necessary.
  • Don’t smoke in bed and keep ashtrays and other smoking materials away from beds and blankets.
  • Store flammable liquids such as paints, solvents, and gasoline away from heating sources.

Residential Methane Detectors

Gas Odorant

  • emical odorant, called Mercaptan, is added to natural gas before it reaches your meter so that gas leaks can more easily be detected. This is what gives gas that characteristic “rotten egg” smell to alert you of a potential gas leak.
  • The old saying “the nose knows” unfortunately is not always true. Some individuals may not be able to smell natural gas because they have developed or were born with a diminished sense of smell. In addition, most individuals are prone to olfactory fatigue, a normal but temporary inability to pick up a particular smell after being exposed to it for a long time, as well as not picking up the smell of gas because the odor is being masked by other odors in the area.

Residential Methane Detectors

  • If you or a member of your household is not able to smell natural gas, consider purchasing residential methane detectors to alert you of a gas leak in your home. They work by sensing natural gas and sounding an alarm before the gas reaches the explosive range to keep you safe. Be sure to read the user manual for proper installation and use.
  • If your methane detector goes off, evacuate the house immediately. Refrain from turning any lights on or off and from using your phone or appliances on your way out. Then, call 911 or PSE&G at 1-800-880-7734 from a safe location, and do not return to your home until it is safe to do so.
  • Methane detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are not the same thing. While there are combination methane and carbon monoxide detectors on the market, most carbon monoxide detectors DO NOT detect methane.
  • Note: PSE&G does not sell or install methane detectors. The NJ Division of Consumer Affairs, Consumer Products Safety Commission, and Underwriters Laboratories (UL) can help you make an informed decision. Look for UL or nationally recognized testing laboratory certification on any alarm you purchase, and carefully follow the instructions for placement, use and maintenance.

Corrugated Stainless Steel Tubing (CSST)

Is your gas piping protected from lightning?

Corrugated stainless steel tubing (CSST) is flexible gas house piping that was introduced in the U.S. in 1990. Though it is easier to install than rigid piping, it needs to be properly bonded to prevent the risk of damage and fire from a lightning strike. Direct or even nearby lightning can cause CSST to become energized, potentially leading to damage and/or fire. Contact a licensed electrician to ensure your CSST was properly bonded and is up to local codes.

Ask for ID

Always ask for identification when a utility worker comes to the door. Employees carry a PSE&G photo identification badge, wear PSE&G logo apparel and drive PSE&G cars or trucks. If you’re concerned in any way, please call PSE&G’s customer service line at 800-436-PSEG (7734) to verify the identity of our employee.

Gas and Electric Theft

Theft of gas and electricity is extremely dangerous. It can endanger residents, neighbors, and our employees. If you know of somebody tampering with a gas or electric meter or making an unauthorized connection, call 911 to report it.